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This will be the 13th president I’ve lived through.

I woke up this morning and hoping that it was the morning of November 9 and that the past ten weeks and three days were a bad dream. Nope!

I really don’t know what to expect over the next four years other than to say most of the stuff coming out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue will not be good.

The Alt-Right and White Supremacists are in DC and letting folks know they are in town. Don’t argue with me because here is the proof from the Trib:

U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela is the fourth Texas Democrat to declare his boycott of President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.

He joins U.S. Reps. Joaquin CastroLloyd Doggett of Austin and Al Green of Houston, in addition to dozens of House Democrats around the country.

Vela, of Brownsville, initially planned to attend Friday’s event, which he thought could serve as “a moment of healing and outreach” but racist remarks from inauguration attendees and a lack of diversity in the final cabinet selection made him reconsider.

“While visiting Washington, DC, 40 migrant students from my district were subjected to comments of ‘beaners,’ ‘burritos,’ and ‘wetbacks’ from Inauguration attendees,” Vela wrote in a statement released Thursday. “One student was even spit on.”

Today, the Alt-Right and White Supremacists will have their day of celebration. So will the Russians.

Everyone knows how Commentary feels about not having Latinos in the Trump Cabinet. It is OK by me. It should be our badge of honor.  This is a fella who slandered many in our community from Day 1 of his campaign. Because of him, a lot more Latinos came out to vote this past November. Frankly, if Trump wanted to work with our community, he would have named a Latino to his Cabinet. He knows he only received 19% of our vote and so he is saying screw us. Believe me. Leaving Latinos on the sidelines is an intentional act from Trump and his inner circle. At least we know where he is coming from.

Here is from AP’s Russell Contreras:

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump’s decision not to appoint any Latinos to his Cabinet is drawing fierce criticism from Hispanics, who call it a major setback for the nation’s largest minority group.

Trump announced former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue on Thursday as his choice to lead the Agriculture Department, ending hopes that the last open spot would go to a Latino nominee. The lack of Latino appointments means no Hispanic will serve in a president’s Cabinet for the first time in nearly three decades.

“I never thought I would see this day again,” said Henry Cisneros, Housing secretary under President Bill Clinton. “There are multiple, multiple talented people, from heads of corporations to superintendents, he could have selected. There really is no excuse.”

The nonpartisan National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials had started a public campaign to convince Trump to nominate former California Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado, a Republican, to the Agriculture post.

“This is a disaster and setback for the country,” NALEO executive director Arturo Vargas said. “The next time a president convenes his Cabinet there will be no Latino perspective.”

The move also drew condemnation from the League of United Latin American Citizens, the nation’s oldest Hispanic civil rights organization.

“Trump has broken with the bipartisan precedent of past presidential administrations and has missed a major opportunity to shed the racial and ethnic divisiveness that were hallmarks of his presidential campaign,” LULAC National Executive Director Brent Wilkes said.

Hilda Solis, who served as Labor secretary under President Barack Obama, said Trump’s failure to select any Latino nominees is “more than an oversight.”

“I don’t think he forgot to appoint a Hispanic. That’s unfortunate,” Solis said.

Solis said having Hispanics in the Cabinet is important because they often step out of their department roles to offer different perspectives. “I did that often,” she said. “Especially on immigration and health care.”

Newly elected Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., the nation’s first Latina senator, called Trump’s lack of Latino appointments, “beyond disappointing,” especially after he ran “a divisive campaign that often demonized the Latino community.”

But New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, a Republican and the nation’s only Latina governor, brushed off the appointment complaints.

“The president-elect gets to choose whomever he wants to choose for his Cabinet,” said Martinez, who openly clashed with Trump during the presidential campaign. “Even though I’m a female Hispanic, I have always said that the person who has the greatest merit and who is the best and brightest should hold those positions.”

For most of the nation’s history, Hispanics have played informal, yet largely small roles in advising U.S. presidents. For example, Francisco Perea served as a delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives from New Mexico and was a close friend of President Abraham Lincoln. He was seated near the president’s box at Ford’s Theatre when Lincoln was assassinated.

Latinos began pressing for more visible representation in the executive branch shortly after World War II and the return of Mexican-American veterans.

Medal of Honor recipient Macario Garcia took a low-level position in the Veterans Administration at the urging of activists and President Harry Truman. Providencia Paredes and Carlos McCormick served as close aides to President John F. Kennedy and first lady Jackie Kennedy. They advised the couple on how to reach out to Latino voters in the 1960 campaign, when new Mexican-American voters helped swing a close election.

Dr. Hector P. Garcia, a Texas physician and another WWII veteran, was tapped by President Lyndon Johnson as the alternate ambassador to the United Nations to push better relations with Latin America. Later, President Jimmy Carter nominated Houston activist Leonel Castillo as commissioner of immigration.

A Latino finally was appointed to a Cabinet position in 1988, at the tail end of President Ronald Reagan’s second term. Lauro Cavazos, a Democrat, was confirmed as Education secretary and continued to serve for part of President George H.W. Bush’s term.

Since then Latinos have had a presence in Democratic and Republican administrations from Surgeon General Antonia Novello, under Bush, to Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, under Obama.

Former Energy secretary and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, whose mother was from Mexico, said the lack of appointments by Trump is telling.

“It is deeply disappointing that the president-elect is ignoring the fastest growing and economically dynamic community in the country,” Richardson said. “Maybe it is payback for his dismal showing with Latinos in the general election.”

Edward Lujan, a former chairman of the Republican Party of New Mexico and brother of former Interior Secretary Manuel Lujan Jr., said he also was disappointed there won’t be any Hispanics in Trump’s early Cabinet.

“But there are still 4,000 positions that have to be filled, some undersecretaries,” Lujan said. “So, I think some Hispanics will get those.”

I just saw this tweet about the crowd at the inaugural:

NYT Politics ‏@nytpolitics 6m6 minutes ago

The makeup of the crowd looks less diverse than the last 2 inaugurations, writes @arappeport http://nyti.ms/2jGQiUG

I am not surprised.

Sen. Ted Cruz was on the “Today” show this morning and said Trump had an “overwhelming” victory. What a tool, err, Trump’s tool!  3 mil behind in the popular vote is hardly “overwhelming”.

I am skipping the MLB today.

Have a great next four years!

Rain, Rain

The rain nailed us again yesterday. Same old, same old.

The Chron E-Board has a take today on yesterday’s flooding. Here is how it starts:

Noah himself would have tossed his hands into the air as yet another biblical storm flooded many parts of Houston Wednesday morning. How many arks can you expect one man to build?

Or, in more secular terminology, Wednesday’s flood forced the The American Institute of Architects, Houston, to cancel its symposium on flooding.

That’s where we’re at, Houston.

Once again, a flash flood transformed streets into canals while gushing waters lapped at bayou banks. First responders received more than 65 water rescue calls, mostly from drivers who ended up stranded on flooded roads. About 1,000 insured vehicles were damaged. Some citizens took matters into their own hands and stood in nearby intersections to warn drivers about impassable streets.

We’re waiting for Houston’s elected officials to show that kind of dedication. After the deluges of 1929 and 1935, local leaders pushed for the creation of regional flood control infrastructure that still serves our city to this day. Thanks to their efforts, Congressman Albert Thomas spearheaded plans and funding for the Addicks and Barker Dams, and the Texas Legislature created the Harris County Flood Control District.

Now City Hall can barely scrounge together the funds necessary to clear debris from storm sewers. Consider it poor timing that, last week, Mayor Sylvester Turner and Flood Czar Steve Costello announced the $10 million Storm Water Action Team, or SWAT, plan to complete two dozen quick drainage fixes. Today it looks more like City Hall is swatting at rain drops than leading a well-targeted attack on flooding. Houstonians have paid more than a half-billion dollars for infrastructure since City Council created the ReBuild Houston drainage fee in 2010. What are we getting in return?

And here is how it ends:

We don’t need a Noah to solve Houston’s flooding problems. Another symposium won’t accomplish anything unless politicians work to write regulations and provide funding. We know what it takes to keep Houston on high ground – our civic leaders led the way 80 years ago. Looking at today’s political landscape, it feels like that well of civic leadership has all but run dry.

Here is the entire E-Board take: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Another-flood-10867145.php.

Bill King tweeted this yesterday:

Bill King ‏@BillKingForHou Jan 18

Houstonians have now paid over a half a billion dollars in drainage fees. Can anyone tell me what we have to show for it?

Then Kris Banks who works for the Mayor tweeted this:

Kris Banks ‏@KrisBanks 24h24 hours ago

In difficult times, Houston can always count on @BillKingForHou for its trolling needs

Commentary is not going to get in the middle of this. They are both grown-ups. I will say that nobody would pay attention to Bill if he had tweeted this during a drought.

How many Baseball Hall of Fame greats who played second base have worn the ‘Stro uniform?

Here is from a New York Times story today on Donald Trump. So very true:

“He seems to want to engage with every windmill that he can find, rather than focus on the large aspect of assuming the most important position on earth,” Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, said on CNN on Tuesday. “And obviously, apparently, according to the polls, many Americans are not happy with that approach when he has not even assumed the presidency.”

Here is very sobering piece from Politico today on the state of the Dem Party: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/01/democrats-trump-administration-wilderness-comeback-revival-214650.

This tweet is OK by me:

ANTONIO ARELLANO ‏@AntonioArellano 1h1 hour ago

Trump’s cabinet is the first in 30 years with ZERO #Latino members.

Trump only got 19% of our vote and for that we should be proud! No se puede, baby!

Hall of Fame greats Nellie Fox, Joe Morgan, and Craig Biggio of course played second base and wore a ‘Stro uniform.

Commentary can’t wait to find out how many times Jeff Bagwell will be honored at The Yard this season.

Snark

We will know today at 5 pm if Jeff Bagwell is heading to Cooperstown. This is his seventh year of eligibility.   Let’s hope he gets the 75% needed to get selected. How did Bagwell poll in his first year of eligibility in 2011?

Commentary has to talk about this I guess or suppose.

Last Friday, Rebecca Elliott of the Chron let us know that HUD had kind of smacked the City of H-Town by saying we violated the Civil Rights Act. Here is how Rebecca started her story:

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is blasting Mayor Sylvester Turner’s recent rejection of a subsidized housing project near the Galleria and said the city violates the federal Civil Rights Act by giving too much weight to “racially motivated opposition” from neighborhood residents when deciding where to locate a key form of low-income housing.

HUD’s findings, detailed in a scathing 14-page letter sent Wednesday, fault the city for “blocking and deterring affordable housing proposals in integrated neighborhoods” and require Houston officials to implement a series of corrective actions.

Those remedies include providing the remaining construction costs for the Houston Housing Authority’s proposed 2640 Fountain View complex, which Turner blocked in August, or financing an alternative in a so-called “high-opportunity” census tract.

HUD also called on the city to develop a formal policy to ensure the placement of tax credit housing does not maintain segregation, establish a local fair housing commission to diminish segregation and help housing voucher recipients find homes in low-poverty neighborhoods.

“The city’s refusal to issue a resolution of no objection for Fountain View was motivated either in whole or in part by the race, color, or national origin of the likely tenants,” Garry Sweeney, director of HUD’s Fort Worth’s regional office of fair housing and equal opportunity, wrote in a letter to Turner. “More generally, the department finds that the city’s procedures for approving Low-Income Housing Tax Credit applications are influenced by racially motivated opposition to affordable housing and perpetuate segregation.”

And:

“We are taking a hard look at the letter, but there should be no misunderstanding about my commitment to providing options for low-income families. I do not believe that only wealthy areas can provide what our children need,” Turner said in a statement. “I have chosen to stay in the neighborhood where I grew up and I will not tell children in similar communities they must live somewhere else.”

Turner added that the city and the housing authority are set to announce a plan to provide vouchers for up to 350 low-income housing units in neighborhoods with high-performing schools.

Here is all of Rebecca’s article: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/houston/article/HUD-City-s-subsidized-housing-procedures-promote-10857101.php.

Then yesterday, the Chron’s Lydia DePillis put out an article that starts like this:

Houston loves to talk about how it’s a “city of opportunity.” It’s on banners at the airport. It’s been used to sell the General Plan. The Greater Houston Partnership uses it as a tagline. Mayor Sylvester Turner used the word “opportunity” five times in his inauguration speech last year.

But opportunity for whom, exactly? 

Opportunity for businesspeople and entrepreneurs, certainly. Houston prides itself on having low taxes and loose regulation, access to international markets, and all the other resources that help private enterprise grow and thrive. 

Whether Houston offers opportunity for people who don’t have much to start with, however — that’s less clear. And it’s downright undermined by Mayor Turner’s decision to block a subsidized housing development in a well-to-do neighborhood near the Galleria, which the federal government said last week had violated the Civil Rights Act.

Turner’s response? “I do not believe that only wealthy areas can provide what our children need,” he said in a statement to my colleague Rebecca Elliott. “I have chosen to stay in the neighborhood where I grew up and I will not tell children in similar communities they must live somewhere else.”

Noble intention. Of course, kids (and adults) should be able to succeed regardless of the conditions of the neighborhoods where they were born — communities that can offer networks of support, despite projecting the appearance of decay and neglect. Those neighborhoods deserve great schools and jobs and access to healthy groceries just as much as rich ones do. 

The problem is, they often don’t offer those things right now, and the research is getting increasingly clear that kids do better if they grow up in wealthier neighborhoods. The younger they move, the better, to maximize access to better schools, low crime rates, and a vision of economic success that seems achievable, rather than remote. 

Turner says that families should be able to live in different kinds of neighborhoods. Well, right now, they don’t really have a choice.

Go here to check out the entire article: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/texanomics/article/Residential-segregation-keeps-Houston-from-being-10861896.php.

Then this tweet came out:

Houston Chronicle Retweeted

Lydia DePillis ‏@lydiadepillis 3h3 hours ago

Dear @SylvesterTurner: You can’t be a “city of opportunity” while putting all public housing in poor neighborhoods.

Followed by this tweet from my pal Bill Kelly who works for the Mayor:

Bill Kelly ‏@billkellytexas 2h2 hours ago

Bill Kelly Retweeted Lydia DePillis

Assume this is more “snark” from the paper @SchwartzChron ? No mention of what’s planned for 350 spots in high preforming school tracks?

I had to go look up “snark” since I don’t use the word. Here is what I found:

A snide, sarcastic, or disrespectful attitude: “On the issue of mainstream monotheistic religions and the irrationality behind many of religion’s core tenets, scientists often set aside their skewers, their snark, and their impatient demand for proof, and instead don the calming cardigan of a kiddie-show host on public TV” (Natalie Angier).

Commentary expressing such an attitude: “He must now endure days of media scrutiny, schadenfreude from his rivals and an overflow of social media scorn, snark and satire” (Alessandra Stanley).

The City of Pasadena got hit by a federal judge for violating Voting Rights and the issue got covered by the Chron.

The City of H-Town gets called out by HUD for violating the Civil Rights Act and the Chron covers and has a take. That’s what they are supposed to do – right?

Oh, well. I am thinking maybe City Hall would like to write the Chron stories.

Kuffer has a good take on what he would like to see in the next local Dem Chair. I hope he doesn’t mind that I let you see it all here:

What I’m looking for in the next HCDP Chair

Jan 18th, 2017

by Charles Kuffner.

Following up on yesterday’s post, here are a few issues I’ve been thinking about regarding the position of HCDP Chair.

  1. Focus on voter registration

My main takeaway from this past election is that Harris County is now fundamentally blue, with the majority of new voters coming into the county being more likely to be Democrats. By “new voters”, I mean people who move here, people who turn 18, and people who become citizens, so they are eligible to vote but have to actually register to do so. It needs to be our priority to make sure that they do. There are also a lot of people who move within the county every year and need to update their registrations, and there are still people who could be registered but aren’t. It should be the party’s goal, especially now that we have a friendly person overseeing the registration process, to maximize the voter rolls.

  1. Expand the vote-by-mail outreach project (maybe)

There has been a focus under Chair Lewis to get more eligible Democrats to vote by mail. It has been successful by any measure, though I don’t know the details behind it. Specifically, I don’t know how many of these mail voters are people who had reliably voted in person before, and how many are new or lower-propensity voters. I’d like to hear how the Chair candidates evaluate this effort and what they would do to improve and expand it, if they think that is a good idea.

  1. Continue the focus on “other” elections

Under Chair Lewis, the party has provided basic information about candidates in Houston municipal races – what their voting history is, who is or is not a sustaining member of the HCDP, etc. It has also done some advocacy for candidates in races where there is a clear choice between a lone Democratic candidate and one or more non-Democrats. This should definitely continue, and it should also be expanded, to include the various school board races, HCC and Lone Star College, and municipal races in other Harris County cities. The May elections in Pasadena should be a particular point of interest for the HCDP.

  1. Think more regionally

Democrats did about as well as they could have in Harris County in 2016. I feel pretty good about making gains in 2018, though of course there are a lot of things that can and will affect how that election will go that have yet to play out. At some point, to continue the momentum, we are going to need to be more involved in races that go beyond our borders. Examples include the First and 14th Courts of Appeals, and multi-county districts like SD17 and CD22. Fort Bend and to a lesser extent Brazoria County are becoming more Democratic in part because they are more like Harris County in nature – more urban, and more attractive to the kind of person who tends to vote our way. We should seek to work more closely with our counterparts in neighboring counties to help maximize Democratic performance not just in Harris County but in the greater Houston region.

This is all high-level bullet point stuff, and there are more things that need to be in the discussion, but this is what I’ve been thinking about. I do intend to send out a Q&A to Chair hopefuls, to get a better idea of where they stand on things. If nothing else, I’ll need to make up my own mind about whom to support. What do you want the next Chair to focus on?

In talking to some folks, they want a chair who is all in for 2018 in terms of the countywide races. They don’t want a chair who is going to play nice-nice with Judge Ed Emmett and give him a pass. He is after all a GOPer, the GOP that gave us Donald Trump and the anti-immigrant BS.

They would like a chair who will try to get all the GOTV activities under one roof.

They would like a chair who is respected by most Dem leaders throughout the county, not someone who brings a lot of baggage to the job.

In 2011, Jeff Bagwell of course polled at 41.7%.

Jeff Bagwell, yes!

Michelle at 53

Happy Birthday to the First Lady!   You are the best for sure!  Nothing but class!

Commentary is not going to say Donald Trump is an illegitimate president even though the Russians helped him across the finish line. So did the FBI. Very illegitimate help if you ask me, but don’t ask me, please.

The President received a Cubbie jersey yesterday with the number 44. This is an easy one. Who wears the number 44 for the Cubbies? Hint: he handed the President the jersey yesterday.

You know Trump is irked knowing that he will become the least popular fella ever sworn into office. He also doesn’t like the number of members of congress who are boycotting the inaugural. Here is this from CNN:

Donald Trump will become president Friday with an approval rating of just 40%, according to a new CNN/ORC Poll, the lowest of any recent president and 44 points below that of President Barack Obama, the 44th president.

Following a tumultuous transition period, approval ratings for Trump’s handling of the transition are more than 20 points below those for any of his three most recent predecessors. Obama took the oath in 2009 with an 84% approval rating, 67% approved of Clinton’s transition as of late December 1992 and 61% approved of George W. Bush’s transition just before he took office in January 2001.

Trump’s wobbly handling of the presidential transition has left most Americans with growing doubts that the President-elect will be able to handle the job. About 53% say Trump’s statements and actions since Election Day have made them less confident in his ability to handle the presidency, and the public is split evenly on whether Trump will be a good or poor president (48% on each side).

And this from McClatchy.com:

President-elect Donald Trump accused approval rating polls of underestimating his support as he nears inauguration, tweeting early Tuesday morning that they were “rigged” against him.

“The same people who did the phony election polls, and were so wrong, are now doing approval rating polls,” he wrote. “They are rigged just like before.”

A new CNN/ORC poll released earlier Tuesday showed Trump with an approval rating of 40 percent for how he has handled his transition, lower than those of Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton before they took office.

Slightly more than half of those polled said they were “less confident” in Trump’s ability to hold office, according to the poll, and repondents were split evenly on whether or not the president-elect would be a good chief executive.

What a joke that we are in for this Friday.

Green no, Green go. Cong. Al Green is boycotting. Cong. Gene Green is going.

Commentary will be watching just to see how much Trump lies in his address, because we all know he is going to lie.

I just noticed this yesterday. I think I am the only person of color living on my block.

From Sunday’s Chron:

Mike Sullivan, former Harris County tax assessor collector, has been appointed director of governmental affairs at Group 1 Automotive.

From the Chron today:

The price of tickets of Super Bowl LI plunged more than 25 percent Monday after the elimination of the Dallas Cowboys from the NFC championship.

Average ticket price fell from $5,877 on Jan. 14 to $4,603 on Jan. 16, according to data kept by ticket retailer SeatGeek.

“The cheapest ticket is $1,000 cheaper today than it was Friday,” said Chris Leyden, content analysis for SeatGeek. 

The possibility that the Cowboys might play, he said, was keeping price high, because sellers knew it would create “incredible demand” among North Texas fans who live a short four hours north of NRG Stadium. 

The Texans got rid of their offensive coordinator yesterday because they can’t get rid of their quarterback. Got it?

First baseman Anthony Rizzo of course handed the 44 to The President yesterday also wears the 44 for the Cubbies.

I got nothing from The Yard today.

 

 

NOPE!

Commentary is talking about what The Mayor tweeted about yesterday before the Packers/Cowboys game. Here:

Sylvester Turner ‏@SylvesterTurner 17h17 hours ago

Come on #Cowboys. There must be one Texas team in the Super Bowl. #Texas Proud! St

Commentary is thinking the majority of H-Town sports fans were glad to see Aaron Rodgers stick it to the Cowboys yesterday.

I’d rather seed Packer fans, Falcon fans, Patriot fans, or Steeler fans hanging in our burg in a couple of weeks rather than Cowboy fans. Just saying!

You can say that again, Evan:

Evan 2017 ‏@evan7257 14h14 hours ago

Good news for traffic on I-45 #DallasCowboys

Who was the first African-American to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame?

From the Alt-Right/White Supremacists were upset department, here is from MSN.com:

President-elect Donald Trump has canceled his holiday visit to the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture — losing a chance for much-needed goodwill after his feud with a civil rights leader.

The incoming president, who spent this weekend waging a war of words with Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), had planned to visit the national museum in Washington, D.C. on Martin Luther King Day.

But senior level transition sources told ABC News on Sunday the visit is off due to unspecified “scheduling issues.”

Trump is now planning to visit the museum sometime after assuming office, his officials said. The museum did not immediately comment.

Trump’s cancellation comes after he spent the holiday weekend publicly combating Lewis, a 16-term congressman and a leader from the civil rights movement who marched with Martin Luther King.

I don’t blame him. Why pi__ off your base, the folks that made him and are helping run his administration? They don’t want Trump to recognize MLK.

In typical Donald Trump fashion, I am betting he doesn’t have a clue on Cong. John Lewis’s role in the civil rights movement. He also didn’t have a clue on what is going on in Georgia CD 5.

I am glad to see another ‘Stro step up. Check these:

Collin McHugh ‏@Collin_McHugh Jan 14

Collin McHugh Retweeted Donald J. Trump

As someone who lives in the @repjohnlewis 5th district, I don’t think #DJT has any idea what he’s talking about. #AtlantaOnTheRise #FILA

 

Collin McHugh ‏@Collin_McHugh Jan 14

Collin McHugh Retweeted Donald J. Trump

…and then doubling down by insulting the civil rights hero on #MLK wknd…wow. #classy

 

Collin McHugh ‏@Collin_McHugh 23h23 hours ago

Collin McHugh Retweeted J

I’m not “anti-trump”, I’m just anti-bullying and pro-respect

 

This is what we are getting on Friday. Get ready:

Donald Trump on Sunday night questioned whether outgoing CIA Director John Brennan was behind the leak of an unverified report that accused the president-elect of salacious conduct.

“.@FoxNews ‘Outgoing CIA Chief, John Brennan, blasts Pres-Elect Trump on Russia threat. Does not fully understand.’ Oh really, couldn’t do much worse – just look at Syria (red line), Crimea, Ukraine and the build-up of Russian nukes. Not good! Was this the leaker of Fake News?” Trump tweeted.

This will be the first inaugural address where every major news organization will have their fact checkers working.

Oh, my! Really? See this from this weedend:

Fox News ‏@FoxNews 54m54 minutes ago

.@continetti: “Until the Dems realize that PC and multiculturalism aren’t the way to go, they’re going to be shackled as a political party

 

Multiculturalism? What a dumbarse thing to say for sure.

Jackie Robinson of course was the first African-American elected to the Hall of Fame of course in 1962.

Commentary is glad the Chron ran with this story on the ‘Stros charging to print tickets. I told the ‘Stros I would not pay the print fee because it was not on the original invoice that I started paying last September. They added the fee on a subsequent invoice. Bad form on the part of the ‘Stros. Here is the Chron story:

So you’ve scored Houston Astros season tickets and you are stoked for the 2017 season. All you need now is to get your tickets and plan out your season.

According to KHOU some Astros fans are a bit miffed that they have pay an extra $125 per seat to get their season tickets printed out and mailed to them.

Most fans like to keep these as keepsakes if they are really dedicated to the team. They look great and they always have the players on them.

Saving and printing out a screenshot from your Astros ticketing app doesn’t have the same feel as a professionally-printed game ticket.

It’s not an uncommon thing as KHOU pointed out, noting that other teams have similar fees. The Kansas City Royals charge their season ticket holders $100 for printing physical tickets. Some teams will print out tickets at no charge for longtime season ticket holders.

KHOU’s viewer poll showed that most Astros fans would rather just save the $125 and print them out themselves.

Hey, for $125 you can buy a new Dallas Keuchel jersey at the team store at Minute Maid Park.

The Astros regular season starts here at home on April 3 with the team taking on the Seattle Mariners. 

Rip-off for sure.

The 13th

This tweet:

Teddy Schleifer ‏@teddyschleifer 1h1 hour ago

@rfelliott A very happy birthday to my very good friend.

Happy Birthday, Rebecca!

Happy Birthday to my longtime good friend Amy in Austin!

35 years ago today, these two greats were elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame – hint, they had a combined 1,341 career dingers and 3,808 career RBIs?

You need to check out the Chron E-Board take today on Pasadena. Here is how it ends:

Texans can’t be so naive as to imagine that bigotry only resides in the history books when we see it alive and well in Pasadena.

Here is the entire take: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Justice-for-Pasadena-10854518.php.

Devastating.

Commentary is glad somebody finally said this. Check the following tweet:

Dan PfeifferVerified account ‏@danpfeiffer 5h5 hours ago

Kellyanne Conway is a dilemma for the media, she is Sr. Advisor to Trump, but is also an unrepentant liar, totally ignorant of his policies

Just like her boss.

Brought to you by Putin. The more he talks, the more he confirms Putin has the goods on him. Here is from a Politico story today:

“It now turns out that the phony allegations against me were put together by my political opponents and a failed spy afraid of being sued. Totally made up facts by sleazebag political operatives, both Democrats and Republicans – FAKE NEWS!” Trump said in a flurry of posts to Twitter Friday morning. “Russia says nothing exists. Probably released by ‘Intelligence’ even knowing there is no proof, and never will be. My people will have a full report on hacking within 90 days!”

Wow! Owned, sealed, and delivered.

Please do this. Commentary is talking about holding congressional hearings where Trump’s ethics or lack of are discussed. Also from Politico:

House Republicans have found a subject for their opening review of conflicts of interest under Donald Trump: the federal official in charge of investigating conflicts of interest.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the head of the House Oversight Committee, criticized the director of the federal Office of Government Ethics on Thursday over his criticism of Donald Trump’s plan to address conflicts of interest. And he threatened to subpoena the official, Walter Shaub, if he refuses to participate in an official interview.

House Republicans have found a subject for their opening review of conflicts of interest under Donald Trump: the federal official in charge of investigating conflicts of interest.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the head of the House Oversight Committee, criticized the director of the federal Office of Government Ethics on Thursday over his criticism of Donald Trump’s plan to address conflicts of interest. And he threatened to subpoena the official, Walter Shaub, if he refuses to participate in an official interview.

Of course, we can always use a good laugh. Check this tweet:

Fox NewsVerified account ‏@FoxNews 13h13 hours ago

Giuliani: “It is refreshing and it is very good for our democracy that we have a president that is trying to get us back to a free press.”

I am sure that is news to the press.

I am kind of wondering what the over/under is on having City of H-Town elections this November. Here is from a Rebecca Elliott story in the Chron today:

A state appeals court on Thursday rejected the city’s procedural challenge to a lawsuit that could force Houston’s mayor and city council members to revert to three two-year terms, from the two four-year terms voters approved in November 2015.

The Texas First Court of Appeals ruling did not address the merits of the underlying case, which centers on whether the city’s ballot language was misleading.

Rather, the court’s decision marks an incremental step in what is likely to be a lengthy appeals process that plaintiffs hope could trigger municipal elections as early as this fall.

Austin election lawyer Buck Wood, however, said he considers November mayoral and city council elections improbable, given the speed with which courts typically move.

Plaintiffs’ attorney Andy Taylor welcomed Thursday’s ruling and criticized the city for challenging the trial court’s jurisdiction over the case, calling the move “frivolous and arrogant.”

“The city should apologize to the voters for trying to avoid a trial on whether their chosen ballot language was deceptive,” he said.

The appellate court’s ruling affirms state District Judge Randy Clapp’s decision last year to reject Houston’s procedural challenge, which sought to get the case thrown out.

Clapp was not considering the substance of the case at the time, though he tipped his hand by calling the city’s ballot language “inartful” but not “invalid.”

Here is the entire story: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/houston/article/City-loses-appeal-on-term-limits-lawsuit-ruling-10853597.php?t=07846e1f79438d9cbb&cmpid=twitter-premium.

35 years ago today, Hank Aaron and Frank Robinson were elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame of course.

I don’t have anything from The Yard today.

Head Start

Only three ‘Stros have over 1,000 walks all time as ‘Stros. Name the three?

Commentary will be brief today.

This came out last night. It is about what Bill “’Reilly said. Check this:

MediaiteVerified account ‏@Mediaite 13h13 hours ago

O’Reilly: Not Since Nixon Has the Press Been ‘So Determined to Bring Someone Down’ http://bit.ly/2jFVIAd  (VIDEO)

Well the incoming Trump administration is certainly giving themselves a head start on their way to being the most corrupt and least ethical. Check this from a Politico piece:

It was clear Trump won’t be turning over his tax returns, at least not soon (“The only ones who care about my tax returns are the reporters”). He won’t be putting his assets or company into a blind trust (“I have a no-conflict-of-interest provision as president”). He won’t condemn Vladimir Putin (“If Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset, not a liability”). He will begin building a wall with Mexico as fast as he can, even if Mexico isn’t paying for it at first (“What’s the difference? I want to get the wall started”).

Plus, foreign governments will stay at his hotels and pay big bucks in violation of the Constitution.

What else do we expect the press to do? Trump is giving the media a gold-plated invitation to investigate his activities.

Give it some time. Sooner or later even the GOP is going to get fed up with his act and won’t come to his defense. Give it some time.  He is asking for it.

Jeff Bagwell walked 1,401 times as a ‘Stro, Craig Biggio 1,160 and Lance Berkman 1,040 of course.

This from the Chron:

One of the Houston Astros’ key players in 2017 is getting hitched before pitchers and catchers report to spring training.

Evan Gattis, who pulled designated hitter and catching duty in 2016, is due to be married to his fiancée Kimberly Waters  on Saturday, Jan. 14 in Frisco.  Astros pitchers and catchers report to the team’s new facility in West Palm Beach, Fla. on Feb. 14 with the first official workout scheduled for the following day.

Congrats!